21 October 2014

So what, every industry has accidents - Alang shipbreaking industry

counterview.net reported that in an unusual statement, a top ship cycling industry representative has sought to justify large number of deaths due to accidents occurring at the Alang shipbreaking yard saying, “Every industry has accidents”.

Mr KB Tayal, vice president of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (India), Alang, said that “Some (industries) might have more (accidents) than others. Even though it happens, it might be due to negligence of workers, or of the machinery. When it happens, no problem. We pay compensation to workers and a penalty to the government.”

The statement, which should sound shocking to environmentalists, has come in the wake of the Government of India decision to look after the affairs of ship recycling industry to the Ministry of Shipping. Currently, the Ministry of Steel is the nodal agency.

But would the new GoI decision to hand over the ship recycling sector to the Ministry of Shipping become an “opportunity for the hazardous ship-breaking sector in India to reinvent itself?” Mr Ravi Agarwal, director of Toxics Link, an NGO that has been working on the issue of toxins in ship recycling since 1992, believes as of today, things are so bad with ti that “there is no clarity on who the owners are, what proper transaction values are, when do clearances come in. It would be much better if all of this is made above board.”

Source: steel guru.  21 October 2014

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